NEW DELHI: Come September, cellphone users in some parts of the country, including the four metros Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, will have the facility to switch operators even while retaining their existing number.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) has issued a notification in this regard saying, “Mobile Number Portability is to be implemented in Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat Service areas of Zone I and Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Andhra and Karnataka of Zone 2 within six months of award of licence by September 20, 2009, and in the rest of the country by March 20, 2010”.
Syniverse Technologies (Zone 1) and MNP Interconnection (Zoin 2) are the two companies who have been licenced by the DoT to carry out the MNP exercise.
The DoT further said TRAI will decide on all kinds of tariffs related to MNP like the transaction fee to be charged from the customer for seeking change of number.
But sources said number portability charges are likely to be below Rs 300 and it will take maximum two days to change the service provider.
TRAI is learnt to be keen to keep the cost at a reasonable level so as not to discourage subscribers willing to change their service provider and at the same time make it a viable business model for the service providers.